Airbus lands a BREEAM Excellent

October 25, 2012
Posted by in Design Principles & Certifications, Non Residential Property, Organisations | Tagged , , , , , , , , |

With a total volume of more than a million cubic metres, Airbus UK’s impressive new North Factory at Broughton in Wales is one of the largest ever buildings to have achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating.

John Griffiths AM and Martin Townsend, Director of BREEAM pleased to present award to Airbus Gareth Davies, Head of Wing Industrialisation

John Griffiths AM and Martin Townsend, Director of BREEAM pleased to present award to Airbus Gareth Davies, Head of Wing Industrialisation

John Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment and Sustainability, presented Airbus with the BREEAM Excellent certificate during a ceremony at the factory on 25 October 2012.

I would like to congratulate Airbus on the award of a BREEAM excellent rating. This really is a significant achievement and it is clear that a determination to reduce C02 emissions, energy consumption and waste were at the very heart of this project, said Mr Griffiths.

The construction sector has a major impact on the Welsh economy, its environment and the wellbeing of its people, so I am delighted that the Welsh Government was able to support the construction and design of this building. I am hopeful that the excellent facilities here at Broughton will help to cement a healthy future for the wider community, bringing training and skilled long term employment to North Wales.

Housing some 650 workers, the £400 million factory has been built to make carbon-fibre wings for the new A350 airliner, which is due to be in service in 2013 and able to carry up to 340 passengers.

The achievement of a BREEAM Excellent rating is a testament to our continued efforts to meet and exceed the highest standards of environmental management, said Gareth Davies, Head of A350 wing. Airbus strives to enhance the green credentials of aviation, and the assembly process is as much a part of this as when the aircraft is in service.

Developed by a team that included Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty, and BREEAM assessed at the post-construction stage by WYG Group, the North Factory boasts a very wide range of sustainability features. A small selection of these include the provision of heating by a mixture of biomass and gas fired boilers and electric heat pump systems, the inclusion of PV panels and solar water heaters, and the recycling of 50% of the total predicted rainwater run-off from the roof areas.

To help ensure that the numerous sustainability technologies are operated in a way that maximise their benefits, a non-technical Building User Guide has been developed and made available to all staff as part of their induction package.

In addition to that of the building, the sustainability of the site was considered. For example, Airbus has contributed to enhancing the ecological value of a local quarry, because there was limited scope for improving the ecology of the site itself in view of the essential aviation requirements.

This BREEAM Excellent award is a clear demonstration of Airbus UK’s commitment to sustainable development, said BREEAM Director Martin Townsend, and that of the whole team involved in the design and construction of this remarkable building. The North Factory is the first aerospace industry facility to be BREEAM assessed. It is proof of what can be achieved when a project team fully embraces sustainability, and demonstrates BREEAM’s ability to recognise such achievements whatever the building type.

For more information on BREEAM go to


BREEAM is an internationally recognised measure of a building’s sustainability. Some 245,000 buildings have been BREEAM certified and 950,000 registered for certification many in the UK with smaller but increasing numbers in more than 50 other countries. Highly flexible, the BREEAM standard can be applied to a very wide range of building types and locations, with versions for new buildings, existing buildings, refurbishment projects and large developments.

They are independently assessed by licensed assessors for their performance in energy and water use, health and well-being, pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management. BREEAM is based on the latest scientific knowledge and is regularly updated in line with new developments, evolving legislation and feedback from users. The current standard was launched by BRE Global in 2011 and the next update is due in 2013.